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welcome backing to "morning joe." it's time to talk about what we learned today. harold ford, what did you learn? >> we need cuts, we need more revenue, but equally, we need growth in the economy. letting start-ups, tax reform, and regulatory reform help. that's what we need more. >> you really think we need
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more? >> i mean, you want to make fun of -- >> i don't ever make fun of playing. i like my politicians who play. and who have cameras around when they do. what did you learn today, sam? >> you picked your clothes by number. i have no idea. the sweater collection could probably use an upgrade. >> this is number 47 right here, by the way. >> this is the hollywood business sweater, right? >> that's right! >> i learned about super fierce sri lankan women fighter, and victor garber is wonderful, and my neighbor. which is great. >> if it's way too early, harold, what time is it? >> it's time for "morning joe". >> but coming up next -- >> is my man, chuck todd on "the daily rundown". >> no, luke. >> luke russert! taking it to the streets, vice president biden heads into virginia to make the case for new gun law. can a campaign-style push pressure congress to get something done. forewarned on the bayou.
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louisiana governor bobby jindal has tough talk for his party about what's wrong and how to avoid being stupid. that's his word, by the way. and a deep dive today into a growing threat. find out why some u.s. troops are speaking french to fight terrorists. good morning from washington, it's friday, january 25th, 2013. this is "the daily rundown." i'm luke russert in for mr. chuck todd. vice president joe biden is taking the white house campaign to end violence into virginia this morning, a state known for its pro-gun tradition. biden will hold a roundtable discussion in richmond, with experts who worked on gun safety after the 2007 shooting at virginia tech. virginia's history of protecting pro gun rights legislation has been sustained under both democratic and republican governors. but state lawmakers have been debating a bill that would require private sellers to conduct criminal background checks on buyers at gun shows. and an online google plus hangout sponsored by the white house on thursday, biden tried to emphasize background check legislation while downplaying the importance of a new assault
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weapons ban. >> more people out there get shot with a glock, that has a -- that has cartridges that you can have magazines that can put 2, 8, 10, 12, 15, 30 shells in it than any assault weapon that you can see. i'm much less concerned, frankly, about what you call an assault weapon than i am about magazines. >> interestingly, biden's comments came just hours after california senator dianne feinstein reintroduced an assault weapons ban, targeting 157 specific firearms, semiautomatic rifles, and pistols with military features and magazines, holding more than ten rounds. even feinstein acknowledged getting it through congress will be difficult. >> this is really an uphill road. if anyone asked today, can you win this, the answer is, we don't know. it's so uphill.
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there is one great hope out there. and that is you. because you are stronger than the gun lobby. >> the nra responded in a statement, "senator feinstein has been trying to ban guns from law-abiding citizens for decades. it's disappointing, but not surprising that she is once again focused on curtailing the constitution." nbc's kristen welker is live at the white house. and she joins us now. good morning to you, kristen. >> reporter: good morning, luke. >> so vice president joey biden is going to eric cantor's richmond, virginia, today, part of this push by the white house that they're doing in their second term to take the campaign on the road. what do they hope to accomplish in richmond, virginia, on this topic of gun control legislation? >> reporter: well, luke, this is really the first in what will be a campaign-style push to get those stiff gun measures passed, that you just talked about. the obama administration has sort of taken this tactic in the past, during the payroll tax cut fight, during the student loan
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fight, really circumventing congress and trying to build a ground swell of support among the people, to pressure congress to get what it wants to get done passed. so in this case, that is the stiffer gun law. so you're going to see vice president biden out today, holding that roundtable, talking about gun legislation. he'll be joined by his cabinet secretaries as well as a democratic senator, tim kaine, to really try to talk to the people about why he thinks this for gun legislation is a good idea. but, of course, as you just mapped out, there is a lot of opposition to this, particularly in states like virginia. so they're hoping to get moderates on their side, so that when this really does go to a fight, they will have the votes in the end. senior administration officials tell me, privately, they think that there is a lot of support for universal background checks and for limiting high-capacity magazines, but, of course, that ban on assault weapons is really going to be the tough one. i also want to say, luke, that yesterday, president obama officially nominated a director for the atf, byron todd jones, who's also, of course, served as
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a u.s. attorney in minnesota. luke? >> indeed. and kristen, i understand the president has an interview coming up this afternoon along with hillary clinton for our friends over at the eyeball network? >> that's right. president obama and secretary clinton will be sitting down with steve kroft from "60 minutes." this is interesting, because it will be their first joint interview. it will air, of course, on sunday. of course, you can expect the two of them to get a range of questions, particularly about benghazi. and we also expect there to be some reflection about secretary clinton's tenure as secretary of state. of course, she's the most traveled secretary of state. so a lot to talk about during that interview. >> and, obviously, president obama, the first thing he did after being inaugurated was push forward the nominations for treasury and state. and obviously, john kerry had his first appearance before a senate panel yesterday, getting some tough questions about benghazi as hillary clinton did this week as well. >> reporter: he was, luke. and by all accounts, senator
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kerry's nomination is really expected to sail through. everyone expects him to be confirmed. but what happened yesterday is that he got some tough questions about secretary clinton's testimony a day earlier on benghazi. what the administration knew, when they knew it. secretary clinton got some tough questions from senator johnson. she responded by saying, what did it matter, at one point, in a heated moment, and senator kerry was asked about that exchange yesterday. take a listen. >> secretary clinton's reaction was, and i quote, "what difference, at this point, does it make?" are you willing to work with me, or do you basically kind of agree with hillary clinton, with that that's kind of yesterday's news and let's move on? >> well, senator, if you're trying to get some daylight between me and secretary clinton, that's not going to happen here today. >> i didn't want to bring it up, but since it was brought up, i'll have to respond again. we do care why the american people were misled.
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>> reporter: so senator kerry not taking the bait, but, again, luke, his confirmation is expected to sail through the senate. back to you. >> ron johnson, getting in the last word there. kristen welker from the white house, thanks so much. we appreciate it. take care. >> thanks. republican party leaders meeting in north carolina for the first time since their big november loss agreed that the party has some problems. >> we have real challenges. and we did get whipped in the presidential election. and that's not something that we take lightly. >> but so far, there is no consensus about how to fix them. republican national committee chairman, reince priebus, is expected to be re-elected today, after quietly making nice with ron paul supporters and heading off any challenge to his leadership. he'll call for a, quote, republican renewal, in a speech this afternoon. but the rnc committee drafting the plan for change is made up of party insiders, rather than anyone who's likely to break china. meanwhile, republican governors are griping privately and
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publicly that the gop in washington is doing nothing to help the republican brand, after being schooled by new jersey governor chris christie. washington republicans got a talking-to last night from louisiana governor, bobby jindal, who said the gop has to stop being a stupid party and talk like adults. >> today's conservatism is completely wrapped up in solving the hideous mess that is the federal budget. we have seemed to have an obsession with government bookkeeping. this is a rigged game, and it is the wrong game for us to play. >> and in a barely veiled reference to mitt romney and other republicans, jindal said republicans need to make it clear that they are a, quote, populous party. >> we must quit being -- we are not the party of big business, big banks, big wall street bailouts, big corporate looph e loopholes, or big anything. we must not be the party that simply protects the welloff, so
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they can keep their toys. >> nbc's senior political editor, mark murray is here, and he joins me now. and mark, it seems is if at any time a party gets thumped, they always have this come to jesus moment. we need to change what we've been doing before, we need to radically alter our strategy. reince priebus is going to say this to the rnc. "it's time to stop lacking at elections through the lens of battleground states. we have four years until the next presidential election, and being a blue state is not a permanent diagnosis. simple outreach a few months before an election will not suffice. in fact, let's stop talking about reaching out and start working on welcoming in." what can the gop really do? and as you know very well, you saw the party insiders, there's a tremendous divide between party insiders and the grassroots. what can they really do to try to nationalize as a party? >> well, luke, where republicans are right now is where democrats were just eight years ago. that is good news if you're a republican party. but the republicans, a lot of them are actually take an all of
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the above approach. we need to model and re-do better our campaign mechanics. we need to reach out better to latinos. we need to soften our tone on social issues. but there is an interesting divide going on between the bobby jindals and the chris christie of the world, the republican governors, versus some of the republican insiders who might be eyeing the white house. and bobby jindal's argument was, look, we need to get away from the divisive budget battles that are occurring in washington, d.c. they're not doing us any good. let's focus on what's happening in the states, let's focus on the economy. let's look at what we're doing outside of washington, d.c. but on the other hand, you're seeing the marco rubios of the world focus on immigration reform, from his perch on capitol hill. you're seeing paul ryan work on the republicans' budget. so there is that interesting outsider versus insider dynamic going on. >> fascinating. we always say governors are pragmatic, and that seems to be what the divide is right now. i want to bring up something which is fascinating in battleground states. excuse me. republicans in these states, virginia, michigan, ohio, pennsylvania, they control the state legislature, they're
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trying to move legislation that would make it so it's not winner take all in the electoral college. that it's proportional, so that if you have -- you win via the congressional district, which a lot of republicans are saying, well, it means local control, but take virginia, northern virginia would get the same vote as out near tennessee, which has much less population. what is the purpose behind this? >> look, it's all about giving the republicans a significant advantage in these battleground states that they've lost in the past two presidential cycles. your example of virginia, president obama won the state by four percentage points, won it by 150,000 votes. but by allocating the electoral votes by congressional district, mitt romney would have won nine electoral votes in virginia to barack obama's four. if you take that entire system nationally, emory university pointed o out that mitt romney would have won 272 electoral votes to barack obama's 276 electoral votes to barack obama's 262. mitt romney would have been the president of the united states. this is fundamentally changing
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the rules. this would be like saying, we want the nfl to change the rules, a quarterback can no longer run in the offense anymore. >> democrats have brought this up before, but in this day and age, with twitter, and with everything such in focus, do you think republicans can really push this through, or will the public outcry be so much to say, look, president obama won by hundreds of thousands of votes in virginia. why could you do this? >> luke, that remains the to be seen. "the washington post" is reporting that virginia's senate will be acting on this legislation as early as next week. we'll look to see. reince priebus, the rnc chairman, who's supposed to be re-elected as rnc chairman was interviewed a few weeks ago where he said, look, i think some of the states that are proposing this is a pretty good idea, although he says that the rnc doesn't have the final word on this, it will be interesting to see what other republican leaders have to say. because at the end of the day, this is looking like republicans want to change the rule because they're realize or are acknowledgining they can't win over the current season.
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>> it will be interesting to see how it plays out. mark murray, appreciate it. the markets are giving treasury secretary tim geithner quite a sendoff on his last day in off, that is today. the dow and s&p are either hitting or close to multi-year highs. cnbc's becky quick joins me now with the latest. and becky, do i have reason to believe that this is some sustained growth in the stock market, that we're not just getting a sugar high today? >> that might very well be the case, luke. a lot of this have been driven by earrings. and the numbers were good once again today. in fact, it looks like we are going to open with the dow up another 40 points this morning. part of that's because of procter & gamble. it's a dow component and they came in with earnings that were 11 cents better than expected. it's a big beat, and a sign of a bit of turn from what a lot of people had been expecting. but it's all adding up to these big, big numbers. the dow has been up out of 10 of the last 11 sessions. and the s&p has been up for 11 sessions in a row. there is a lot that's feeding into this, but there are also
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some pretty big names who are saying, this is not the end of things. this morning on "squawk box," we spoke with the ceo goldman sachs, lloyd blankfein, and he said, very likely the stock markets are going to go up from here, and that's because central banks around the globe are making it really expensive to keep your money in cash. you've got to find some asset that looks like a better situation and most people think stocks is still the best place to put your money. and the "usa today," the money section, actually talks about whether main street is set to start stocking up on stocks. that could be a contradictory indicator, when main street starts looking at things, but there could be some real room with this, and the earnings have continued to be really strong. >> might be time to take all the money out from under the mattress and put it in the markets. becky quick, have a good weekend. >> you too. next, anti-abortion activists are taking to the streets of washington today for the annual march for life, 40 years after the supreme court's landmark ruling on roe v. wade. the debate rages on. plus, revolution revisited.
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we're keeping our eye on egypt's tahrir square, where police and protesters are clashing on the second anniversary of the historic uprising. but first, some breaking news on the president's schedule this afternoon. the president will announce denis mcdonough as the new white house chief of staff. we had heard some rumors about this before and it was heading in that direction, but now it's official. the president will make this personnel announcement at the white house at 12:10 p.m. you're watching "the daily rundown," only on msnbc. denis mcdonough, the president's chief of staff. irishman! [ male announcer ] red lobster is hitting the streets to tell real people about our new 15 under $15 menu! oh my goodness... oh my gosh, this looks amazing... [ male announcer ] 15 entrees under $15! it's our new maine stays! seafood, chicken, and more! ooh! the tilapia with roasted vegetables. i'm actually looking at the wood grilled chicken with portobello wine sauce. that pork chop was great. no more fast food friday's. we're going to go to red lobster...
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this week marks the 40th anniversary of the roe v. wade supreme court decision, and according to new polling from nbc news and "the wall street journal," there's a big shift in how americans view the topic. a majority of americans now say abortion should be legal in all cases or all or most cases, rather. despite the shift, the issue remained a hot topic in the 2012 campaign. take a listen. >> i think i've said that time and again, i'm a pro-life candidate. i'll be a prof-life president. >> the policy of a romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. >> joining me now is jeanne monahan, the new leader of the march for life. she joins me now. thank you so much, replacing the late nelly gray. welcome. >> i'm happy to be here. thank you for doing this story. >> the march is today. we saw the poll numbers, nbc news/"wall street journal," overturn roe v. wade, 24%, yes, overturn, no, do not overturn,
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70%. if you look at how this has shifted over the years, in 1989, 58% of the folks said don't overturn. 2002, it went to 60, 2005, it went to 66, 2013, now 70% of the country. it's a tough battle for you guys. >> well, yes and no. i mean, it's true that the majority of americans now want some abortion legal, but the far majority of americans want more restrictions on abortion than we currently have in the united states. we have the most wide-open abortion laws in the western world in the united states. unrestricted access to abortion on demand here. and most americans, i think, a poll two weeks ago said 83% of americans want some restrictions in the first trimester. >> on that point, you see a lot of states, mississippi, where there's only one abortion clinic, except for kansas, and in virginia, you have to get a wider hallway in order to accommodate an abortion by a legislation they put through -- >> because a woman actually died -- >> it's a very wide -- >> when they couldn't get her gurney through the door a few
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years ago. >> so you believe, though, it's widespread availability in the western hemisphere of the united states? >> absolutely -- ini mean, everybody will greet that the u.s. has the most wide open laws for abortion. it's a commonly known fact. but it's true, states are enacting positive pro-life laws. in the last three years, almost 200 laws have been enacted at the level of the states. these are laws involving a woman's informed consent, involving parents in the young girl's decision, et cetera. so in most cases, they're common sense laws that most americans are in agreement with. >> i went to a catholic university and the majority of the girls who went there were on some form of birth control. i work on capitol hill. i know a lot of republican women who will say, privately, that the party is absolutely hurting itself by its stance on birth control, and a lot of them are more -- they use birth control and they're in favor of it. why take this fight to the extreme? why can't you sort of be cafeteria style.
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say, you know what, partial birth abortion, we're not for that, but you won't give an inch on birth control. >> this is where i disagree with you and americans disagree with you. gallup poll shows that being pro-life is the new normal. for the last three years, the majority of americans self-identify as being pro-life. 51% of americans versus 40%, who say that they're pro-choice. if you went to the march today, you'd see a number of young, shining, energetic faces. this isn't an extreme, radical issue. this is the new normal. being pro-life, it's a reasonable perspective. >> but is being pro-life give you the right to try to restrict access to contraception? >> those are two very different questions. and right now what we're talking about is the abortion issue. >> okay. i want to talk about you were familiar with the john pope cultural center, you came through that -- >> actually, i studied at the john paul ii institute for studies on marriage and family, two different things. >> let's talk about life. obviously, this is the march for life. the death penalty.
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something that we, as a country, in the top five death penalty countries in 2011, we're in the company of china, iran, saudi arabia, iraq, and then there we are, the united states. the culture of life, why isn't there more attention paid on the issue of the death penalty, which stats have shown disproportionately affects minorities. if a minority kills a white person, they're more likely to go on death row than the opposite. it's not -- it's costly, as we all know, and it's not a deterrent. and oftentimes in our country, innocent people have been put to death. why is there not more of a focus on that in the march for life as well? >> well, let me say that actually we are 100% pro-life, and in most cases, we wouldn't be pro death penalty, but the reason why the emphasis is placed on abortion is because it's the human rights abuse of today. in the last four decades, 54 million americans have died as a result of abortion. that is about a sixth of the population in the united states. it is the human rights abuse of today. so that's why we place the
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emphasis primarily -- >> but should there not be an anti-death penalty component to a march for life? >> absolutely, we're 100% pro-life, and as we're moving forward, we're going to work on a broad perspective of working on pro-life. the same with euthanasia and things like that. we're pro-life 100% of the time, from conception to death. >> jeanne monahan from the march for life, thanks so much. good luck with the march today. >> thanks for having me. >> absolutely. still to come, we've got even more details on the staff shake ups at the white house, plus, stall tactics. the filibuster fight is over for now, but the gridlock isn't going away. and the left is not happy with what is left out of the deal. but first, today's trivia question. who is the only treasury secretary to serve under three presidents? tweet me @lukerussert aan and @dailyrundown. the first correct answer will get a follow friday from us. the answer and more coming up from "the daily rundown." i'll give you a hint, if you watch "boardwalk empire," you
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on our radar this morning, groundhog day is over in the senate, north korea turns its threats towards the south, and tensions rise in cairo. but first, it was literally one of the longest first days of any new session in the senate. approved filibuster changes, filibuster reform had to take place during the opening day of the new session so majority leader harry reid made the first day last much longer than the typical 24 hours. it's been ongoing since january 3rd, the start of the 113th congress, instead of adjourning completely at the end of each day, the senate was in recess. the senate approved moderate filibuster changes yesterday. some key agreements in the deal include reducing the number of times an opponent can use filibusters, reducing the time spent on debating some bills and nominations, and the majority party now has to allow two minority amendments on bills. the changes were broken down into two resolutions and were approved by votes of 78 to 16
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and 86 to 9. however, a lot of liberals are not happy because of the fact that you don't have to stay on the floor to do your filibuster. after threatening to carry out more long-range rocket launches yesterday, north korea has turned its sights to south korea, threatening to attack in a new round of u.s. sanctions. in a statement run on state-run television, north korea's committee for the peaceful reunification of korea said, "if the puppet group of traders takes a direct part in the u.n. sanctions, north korea will take strong physical countermeasures against it." in egypt today, protests mark the second anniversary of the revolution that ousted former president hosni mubarak. opponents of president morsi and his muslim brotherhood allies have made their way into cairo's tahrir square. police have been battling protesters who threw gas bombs, firecrackers, and rocks. four people have been injured today. 29 since yesterday. that's the live picture you see right there of tahrir square. we're taking a deep dive into
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the newest front in the war on terror. north africa. you may remember mitt romney raising the red flag in the midst of the presidential campaign. >> mali has been taken over, the northern part of mali, by al qaeda-type individuals. what we're seeing is a pretty dramatic reversal in the kind of hopes that we had for that region. >> there's some snarky tweets after mitt romney said that, but turns out, hindsight, he was right on. next, democratic senator chris coons on what secretary clinton calls a very serious ongoing threat. you're watching "the daily rundown," only on msnbc. ♪ we, we chocolate cross over. ♪ yeah, we chocolate cross over. ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing fiber one 80 calorie chocolate cereal. ♪ chocolate.
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if the last ten years were about targeting terrorists in the middle east, the next ten will likely be focused on them in north africa.
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we're looking at the dramatic developments in countries like algeria and mali, all of them in north africa, a region seemingly tailor made for al qaeda activity. the u.s. and its allies are concerned that a toxic mix of poverty, high unemployment, and a large population under 35 and weak governments across the region make it easy for militan militants to gain a foothold, particularly since the u.s. has been relaying on locals to try and keep the peace. >> what we have to do is recognize we're in for a long-term struggle here. and that means, we've got to pay attention to places that historically we have not chosen to or had to. >> it's a dramatic shift from a few years ago, when the north african continent was considered one of the weakest of the al qaeda affiliates. they were short on money and guns.
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but, no more. in 2011, it went from one of the poorest affiliates to one of the richest, relying on the drug trade, kidnapping, and ransom demands to fill their coffers. u.s. security sources say ransom have been the main motivation behind the recent hostage taking in algeria. in addition, the arab spring brought an unexpected windfall, knocking out powerful leaders like egypt's hosni mubarak and libya's moammar gadhafi, and unleashing a flood of illegal weapons. >> when gadhafi was falling, i was there at the time, i had never seen so many weapons in my entire life. and they were just being taken from depots, they were being handed over to militant groups. and then they went all over the region. they went from country to country, and they fell into the hands of militant groups. and this is no longer theoretical. seven americans have been killed, including a u.s. master, just in the last four months. >> call it the downside of the arab spring. revolutions that the u.s. are actively, tacitly supported in places like libya and egypt have
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left shaking governments in place and more instability to an already volatile region. delaware democratic senator chris coons shares the senate foreign relations subcommittee on africa and he joins me now. senator coons, thank you so much for being on the program. >> thank you, luke. >> i want to ask you, we were very much supportive here in the united states two years ago, on the two-year anniversary of the egyptian revolution in tahrir square, as well as what we saw in tunisia, as well as what we saw in libya. were we naive to be thankful that these despottic leaders were pushed out of power? >> well, luke, what you're pointing to is the inherent tension between our desire for stability, for security, for economic progress and our fundamental commitment to democracy. i recently visited egypt for several days last week on a congressional delegation trip with republicans and democrats. we had a chance to meet with the leadership of egypt, both the defense minister, prime minister, the current president, and a lot of the opposition.
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and i left deeply concerned about the path forward for egypt, reminded of its importance, it is the most populous arab country. it is, in many ways, the linchpin of the region. and we want them to continue to respect their treaty commitments under the camp david accords for peace with israel, for being one of the places from which a lot of economic growth for the region can happen, but we also want to celebrate their movement towards democracy. mubarak was an autocrat, was somebody who suppressed his people, and prevented free speech and an open society. so we have these twin tensions, as we look at the development of the last two years in tunisia, in libya, and in egypt. as you said at the outset of this segment, one of the big challenges we now face with incidents in benghazi, in algeria, and in mali, is how the instability in libya and egypt have now led to more weapons, more money, and more islamic
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extremists and jihadists destabilizing others in the region. we're in for a very rough ride. >> and i wanted to talk about that with you. "the washington post" editorial page had an interesting point today, saying that secretary clinton really conveyed the seriousness of what was happening in north africa, while the obama administration was being a little bit reluctant in terms of providing the french the ability to get their troops into mali. have not really wanted to pay for anything there. in this era of drawdown, of getting out of iraq, of getting out of afghanistan, do you fear of heavy u.s. involvement, in more than just covert ways in north africa? >> well, i think it's important for us to have a sense of scale. we've been spending as much as $100 billion a year on the war in afghanistan. the sorts of dollars we're talking about for potentially supporting the french and mallian military operations are two orders of magnitude, three orders of magnitude smaller than that. we're talking about a few hundred million dollars. still a significant amount of money for taxpayers, but we are
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not talking about anything like the kind or scale of investment in either blood or treasure that we made in the wars in iraq and afghanistan. this is simply about providing logistics, intelligence, and refueling to a nato ally and to a regional ally. part of the hesitation on the part of the administration that secretary clinton described to us on the foreign relations committee earlier this week is because we have a legal barrier to providing direct assistance to a country whose military overthrows the civilian government in a coup. so there is some work going on between the department of defense, the state department, and some of us in congress who believe we need to be more actively engaged in mali and in supporting our regional allies, the african militaries, who are sending thousands of troops into mali to support their effort. >> you know, being a young man, i have a number of friends who serve or are serving, and i spoke with one of them a few weeks ago and i asked them how their arabic classes were going, and they told me that they don't
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take arabic, they take french. do you believe that we could see a day where young men and women come home in boxes from this region? >> well, sadly, luke, we've just seen that day. there were four brave americans -- >> more so, yeah. >> -- killed in benghazi. there were three recently killed in this terrorist incident in algeria. i think it's important for us to focus on a training role and a support role for u.s. armed forces, and recognize that we have a positive model as secretary clinton reminded us, in what's happened in somalia. in the last two years in somalia, a regional african-led force that is predominantly ugandans, kenyans, ooethiopians has successfully invaded and taken it back from al shabaab. al shabaab sounds an awful lot like aqim. they were making a lot of money
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off of piracy and off of kidnapping and ransom. they had taken control of a lawless country. somalia has been unstable and a source of threat to our country and the region for nearly 20 years. today, much of that is back under control of a newly elected government, newly recognized by the united states. that was accomplished without a single american casualty. >> and lastly, i want to ask you, france has a lot of important areas in that region, specifically pertaining to their uranium, they extract from some of those countries. i know that french special forces have been right in niger. they immediately go to where these rich natural resources exist in these countries that they need. are you worried about this becoming sort of an economic war, kind of like what we saw in iraq for oil, this idea of these imperialists coming to get the resources and that's what al qaeda can use as a real, a recruiting tool? >> well, luke, you make a great point. we're only going to achieve security and stability in mali and niger, in mowauritania, in
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this whole region if we address and help those governments address those long-standing internal disputes. it's because of 50 years of complaints and disputes in northern mali that this whole destabilization of mali began in the first place. we have to have elections that restore a legitimate democratic government in mali and the malian government itself needs to address the real concerns and complaints of its own people. otherwise, the military intervention by the french will, in fact, come to be seen as just another episode in colonialism. so we have to balance security, development, and diplomacy in a way that protects democracy. that's a path to stability in a part of a world that's increasingly deserving of our attention and investment. >> not an easy task, chris coons, thank you so much for joining us. have a great weekend. >> thank you, luke. not one, but two deals struck on the hill this week.
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our gaggle will be here next. and a programming note for you. this sunday on nbc's "meet the press," congressman paul ryan sits down, exclusively, with david gregory for his first live interview since the election. you don't want to miss that one. but first, the white house soup of the day, shrimp and corn chowder. we'll be right back. and that sounds good, supposed to snow here in d.c., that'll keep you warm. what else do you want? you peace of mind. unbiased. some brokerage firms are. but way too many aren't. some of the ones that push mutual funds with their names on them -- aren't. why? because selling their funds makes them more money. which makes you wonder -- isn't that a conflict? am i in the best fund for me, or them? search "proprietary mutual funds". yikes, it's best for them. then go to e-trade. we've got over 8,000 mutual funds and not one of them has our name on it. why? because that's not the business we're in. we're in the business of finding the right investments for you. e-trade. less for us. more for you. a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib:
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c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid. the second term shuffle continues today. president obama will announce changes to his senior staff in a little over two hours. denis mcdonough is replacing jack lew as the new white house chief of staff. tony blinkon will take over for mcdonough as the national security adviser. and jennifer palmieri will take over for pfeiffer as the white house communications director. did you catch all that? it's a lot of changes at the
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white house. rob knavers will become the deputy chief of staff. let's bring in my colleague, nbc news capitol hill correspondent, kelly o'donnell, former spokesman for the democratic campaign committee, and republican congressman from iowa, jim nussle. thank you, everyone, for coming on the program. doug, to you first. shake ups, nothing too unexpected here, denis mcdonough as chief of staff. what does this mean for the obama white house in the second term? these folks have been through the ringer a few times. not like dick morris type of changes. what does this mane for the obama white house? >> these are all people that the president trusts. they have been with him for a while. denis mcdonough is a key national security adviser, dan pfeiffer has been with the president since the campaign. jen palmieri is a very well-respected communications strategist around here. i think, really, it's an opportunity, again, that the president made clear in his inauguration speech, he really wants washington to act more. and i think he's got the people around him to help make that a
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reality. but they're trusted folks, they're talented, and i don't think -- i think he's going to be well served by them. >> david, i want to get into these fiscal triple threat that we have here, which kelly can speak to quite a lot. the first seems to have been avoided with the debt limit, which is now delayed until may. >> avoided for the time. >> for the time. up next we have the sequester followed by government funding. bobby jindal said in his speech to republican -- in charlotte, that this fighting constantly over fiscal issues is hurting the party. it's not necessarily good ground. they should try and branch out more, because that's all people see from washington. do you agree with him on that? >> you know, it's a great point. and i like the way he put it. because i've had this frustration myself, that the connection is missing between washington and the american people on main street, of why this is even -- a, why is this happening? and b, what does it matter? i mean, they know these are big numbers. they know the debt's not good,
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because they have credit cards and all those kinds of things. but i think the key here, and he mentioned it, and others have been mentioned -- i've tried to mention it, is growth. how do we get the country growing again, in the economy, especially, creating jobs. so connecting what's happening here with fiscal policy on reducing the size of government and its impact in the private sector or the debt and how we can get that under control and provide some certainty for the marketplace, i think, is a connection that republicans have to do a much better job of making. >> and kelly, we are already seeing where the lines are being drawn in the sand with these next two fights. republicans don't want any additional revenue. democrats say, well, no, some of the revenue, you can offset the sequester, that we can agree on for government funding. it should come from some tax reform, closing loopholes. this is going to be a heck of a fight, and it could go down to the bitter end once again. >> if you thought taxes were dealt with, apparently not. we seem to go back and forth between panic button and a pause button on capitol hill with these sorts of thing.
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mcconnell had thought that he had settled the issue, and speaker boehner too, with allowing higher rates and some other changes to limit some reductions, to bring in more revenue. they thought, okay, that piece is complete. well, now democrats are looking at putting a budget together that they haven't formally done, but said revenue will be in it. so that will be a huge fight. i think one of the hard parts tc and we struggle with it as journalists, the ideas are complex. the fact that it leads us into the future, it's so hard for any of us to see that crystal ball and know. so the deadlines have become the way they operate. needing short-term, immediate deadlines to force people to act. and that is exhausting for the public as well as the hill and it's not always that effective. >> and it will continue. and we have a lot more to come with our power panel. but we want to go to trivia time. who is the only treasury secretary to serve under three presidents? the answer -- andrew mellon. he was appointed by warren g.
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harding in 1921 and suddened to serve under calvin coolidge and herbert hoover. a lot of folks would say he was probably more powerful than all three of those. if you have a political question, e-mail us at ♪
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let's bring back our gaggle. jim, i want to go to you. what does speaker boehner have to do to get things through this house gop conference for these next two -- it's a very difficult thing. >> it is. he still hasn't proven that he can. frankly even this debt deal that he did lost three republican members. you can't do that and pass a budget because most likely he's only going to be able to pass it to start with, with republicans. so he has a tough job because he hasn't proven he can yet. this is a very diverse conference. more diverse than people think on the issues, number one.
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number two, they don't know each other yet. we were talking about this in the green room. 40% of the congress are within the last two years. they've just come in. they don't even know each other in the same party. >> sequestered not in the -- like in a jury. locked in a room. >> locked in a room. get to know one another. >> i think boehner may have made a strategic error when he promised conservatives that paul ryan would pass a budget that would balance, in ten years -- ten years. paul ryan's last budget didn't balance until 2014. >> it's tougher than it sounds. >> it's tough. what is that going to mean? you're talking about some significant draconian cuts that are going to be tough for a lot of people to swallow. >> painful and hard to sell. >> and that's all our time. let's go around for shameless plugs. >> "paul ryan, "meet the press" this sunday. go david. >> the public relaunches on monday with a cover story interview of president obama. >> i'm giving a speech to the
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dallas chamber of commerce on tuesday as a member of the debt board so that's what i get to do. >> happy birthday to my mother. it's tomorrow. it is the 20th anniversary of one of her big birthdays. we love you, mom. and i have to say thank you to andy for sending me this "daily rundown" clipboard with my name on it. i guess i'm a main man now. andy out in california. be well, my friend. that's it for this edition of "the daily rundown." coming up next on msnbc, chris jansing and company. you don't want to miss that. take care and drive well on the snow, d.c. finally... [ male announcer ] when you combine creamy velveeta with zesty rotel tomatoes and green chilies, you get a bowl of queso that makes even this get-together better. you get a bowl of queso did you just turn your ringer off so no one would interrupt oh no, i... just used my geico app to get a tow truck. it's gonna be 30 minutes.
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